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After Earth 

Like father, not so much like son

click to enlarge after-earth1.jpg

Centuries from now, a starship crashes on what remains of Earth, letting loose a terrible alien predator and forcing young Son of Will Smith to hunt for a distress beacon thousands of kilometres away. So goes the basic premise of After Earth, the newest home movie for father/son pair Will and Jaden Smith. Will dials himself back as a formidable general who eradicated his fear (or some such nonsense), which makes Jaden Smith's acting inability all the harder to see past. His frail physique highlights the relative dangers of the savage planet, but Smith the younger falls far from the tree in terms of movie star magnetism. Director M. Night Shyamalan has had a rough downslide of a career, but here he's wisely restrained to a simple survival story about overcoming fear. It's closer to Ray Bradbury than L. Ron Hubbard, and intensely watchable whenever Jaden stops hogging the screen.

After Earth
Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 100 min. · 2013
Official Site: afterearth.com
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: Will Smith, Gary Whitta and M. Night Shyamalan
Producer: Caleeb Pinkett, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, James Lassiter and M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoë Isabella Kravits, Lincoln Lewis, Sacha Dhawan, Chris Geere, Isabelle Fuhrman, Kristofer Hivju and David Denman

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